Jul 112013
 July 11, 2013

dea kids children medical marijuanaDoug and Patricia Rohrick are embroiled in a custody battle over their great-granddaughter. The Colorado couple told reporters that the El Paso County Department of Human Services denied their requests to adopt 10-month-old Saya because they were medical marijuana patients.

Mr. Rohrick said that he and his wife have been open about their legal medical use since the beginning of the adoption process – and even cared for the child without incident for several months – and that it was not a problem until a DHS employee’s intervention on Monday, June 8.

“They walked in with a cell phone in the air and handed it around to everybody and said the deputy director of DHS has stated that anybody with a medical marijuana card could not have custody of any children,” Rohrick said.

The El Paso County DHS has released conflicting statements regarding their policy of placing foster children with medical marijuana patients. In response to Rohrick’s claim, Executive Director Rick Bengtsson said there is no policy denying relatives custody because of marijuana use. Instead, he stated that custody decisions are made on a case-by-case basis with a premium on the child’s safety and well-being.

However, in 2010, Bengtsson issued a directive to the El Paso County DHS clarifying the organization’s policy as one of zero-tolerance. The directive stated: “EPC will not place children in licensed foster homes if a foster parent is using or intends to use medical marijuana, even though under state law they may do so legally.”

Child custody problems have become increasingly common among medical marijuana patients and advocates, due to the intolerance of state and local officials who think that marijuana use automatically makes one unfit to raise children. Recent victims include California mother Daisy Bram and outspoken Idaho activist Lindsey Rinehart.

Source: Marijuana Policy Project- make a donation

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • Pat Cowdin

    Power corrupts at even the lowest levels. This little tin-pot dictator in El Paso County should be fired today for terminal ignorance.

  • Pitchman101

    deputy director of DHS has stated that anybody with a medical marijuana card could not have custody of any children. give some little peon a bit of authority and in the name of wellfare, let them destroy peoples lives. What a scum bag! So I suppose now a foster family will be paid thousands by the state to take care of this child. Probably a family with plenty of Meds in there cabinet and booze in the den. Good job, NOT!

  • j wilson

    Real smart.. take the child away from loving family and send them to unloving, only in it for the money alcoholics…